Design House Stockholm is presenting
Birds 1967 designed by the famous Lisa Larson
A treasure has been kept nesting since 1967 at the celebrated Swedish ceramicist Lisa Larson’s studio outside of Stockholm. Her colored flock of birds were born already in the vividly vibrant ’60s, an era when vibrant music erupted, and the young Flower Power generation conquered the stage. Lisa Larson’s birds are now flying free.
’We rented a house in Sausalito, near San Francisco in 1967,’ remembers Lisa Larson. ’I had no possibility to work in ceramics there, but I craved to work! I encountered lots of ceramics and quilts from nearby Mexico that sported very strong colors, which were so inspiring. I just started out painting these birds without any idea on how to produce them.’
Lisa Larson first had an exhibition of her ceramics in St. Louis, and then drove with her young family cross-country in a retired police car. She enrolled at UCLA with her artist husband Gunnar, and her intoxication with the ’60s joyful ample flower patterns were jointly shared back in Sweden by her sister, the fashion designer Titti Wrange.
’I brought back gouache colors, in shades which were impossible to get by in Sweden at that time, and I found a retired carpenter who turned out these shapes in wood which I then painted all by myself. It was a lot of work, and I had to get back to my ordinary work as a ceramicist.’
She spent a big part of her career producing world-renowned ceramics in not so strong colors at Gustavsberg. Her fame had grown and she was able to start her own practice as a freelancer in the ’80s. At 92, Lisa Larson still tends to her favorite objects almost as if they were live companions.
’I found these marvelous designs at a visit at Lisa’s studio’, says Anders Färdig, founder of Design House Stockholm, ’I was completely mesmerized by these birds craving for attention. Why were they not in production? The Mexican look, the outsized Flower Power patterns: Lisa Larson’s birds are almost like peace doves, a remembrance of a time when the young generation protested against war and dreamt about a new society.’ The high-keyed colors were along with music, a true celebration of life. Colors in blown-up patterns that really power the soul. The richly decorated bird flock has now left the closet to fly free, a celebration of life and a testimony to a time of hope and happiness.